KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan -- Construction of the future home of the 3rd Brigade, 205th Corps Afghan National Army is underway in the Zhari district in Kandahar province. Once complete, the installation will accommodate 6,000 personnel.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project includes administration buildings, training buildings, dining facilities, senior personnel quarters, barracks, latrines and showers, fitness centers, guard towers, vehicle maintenance areas, armories, wastewater collection and treatment systems, electrical generation and distribution systems, fuel points, roadways, sidewalks, and more. The project is about 15 percent completed.

Although a contractor is building the project, USACE personnel, including Philip Merchant, conduct thorough inspections of the construction site several times weekly. As a quality assurance construction representative, Merchant helps make sure construction is progressing in accordance with International Building Codes and the site's plans and specifications. As a civil engineer with 11 years of experience, including two in combat zones, Merchant, who deployed from the USACE Chicago District, has the expertise required to identify potential problems and coordinate corrective actions.

"My objective is to make sure the contractors here build safe and reliable facilities that comply with codes, plans and specifications, and within the time and budget allotted because these are facilities that will enable Afghan National Army soldiers to serve and protect their communities," Merchant said.

The project is expected to be delivered to the ANA in April 2014.